Who We Are

Get to know the BCLSS

What We Do

Lake Monitoring and Training of Lake Stewardship Groups

The BCLSS is assisting its member lake groups to conduct scientific water quality monitoring of the lakes they represent. This is a great concept as it enables volunteers to gather scientifically significant data, contributing to the data pool that helps develop policy, protecting our waters in BC.
The enthusiasm for this project is catching around the province. The more data the better! Get involved by contacting us at: 1-877-BCLAKES or click here for more information on this program.

The BCLSS is also collecting Ice On and Ice Off Data. If you would like to observe your lake for signs of freeze and thaw, click here for a data collection sheet.


Community Education

Educating the community about lake issues is an important objective at the BCLSS. Participation in community events, attending school events, giving presentations, and hosting conferences are just some of the ways that the BCLSS promotes lake stewardship in BC. If you would like the BCLSS to give an educational talk or presentation in your area give us a call at 1-877-BCLAKES (1-877-225-2537).


Restoration

Looking to restore your shoreline? The BCLSS is a valuable resource to landowners who want to make their property ecologically sustainable.

Take a look at some of the PROJECTS the BCLSS is currently implementing or has completed in the past.

Our Board
of Directors

Proud of Our People

At BCLSS, we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Board of Directors. We value the insight and individual passion that each Director brings to the table. Through strong leadership, solid strategy planning, and passionate collaboration, BCLSS will continue to keep BC lakes beautiful. Read on to find out more about each Director and how to contact them.


Brian Nickurak

(Kootenays)

Brian is currently an Operations Manager with School District #6 in the East Kootenays. He has been involved in the creation of two lake stewardship groups; at Twin Lakes by Penticton and Windermere Lake at Invermere where he resides. Brian has extensive experience in municipal water and wastewater treatment and experience and training in limnology from the BCLSS. He is an Applied Science Technologist in BC (AScT), Certified Public Works Inspector (CPWI), a Real Property Administrator (RPA), and contract administrator with MMCD. Brian feels a deep connection with lakes and profoundly enjoys his time on and in lakes. He fully appreciates volunteers working hard to understand and protect BC’s valuable fresh water lakes and commits to supporting these individuals and groups to every extent possible through the BCLSS.


Kristi Carter

(Okanagan)

Kristi Carter is the Associate Director, Academic Programs for the Faculty of Management at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Prior to that she was fortunate to work as a Project Coordinator for the BCLSS from 2004 – 2015. Although her career shifted from the non-profit world to academia, she’s never lost her passion for environmental protection. She presently serves as a BCLSS Director and is on the executive committee, as Treasurer. She lives in the Okanagan and in her “spare time” she likes to study, travel, exercise, read, and above all else, spend time with her husband and two children.


Irene Calbick

(Lower Mainland)

Irene has been a BC Lake Stewardship Director since 2000 and was also a Director of the Gun Lake Ratepayers Association for many years. She has been involved in lake stewardship for about 45 years when a group of Gun Lake residents became concerned about potentially harmful effects on the watershed. She was involved with establishing the Gun Lake Ratepayers Association in 1980 to protect the watershed and promote good watershed practices.


Marge Sidney

(Thompson – Nicola)

Marge received a diploma in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation from BCIT in 1976 and a BSc from SFU in 1980. She is an RPBio who retired in April 2019 after 40 years with the Ministry of Environment in Kamloops. Her background is Fisheries, working on many lake management projects such as lake inventory, lake classification for land use planning, lake aeration and lake treatments using Rotenone, to name a few. She was then slotted into the Environmental Protection Section, Water Quality Program and worked on Regional Water Quality projects. In addition she has also been involved in wetland construction/restoration with the Ecological Restoration Program from BCIT at Logan Lake, wetland construction at Gardom Lake, the BC Lakes Network and lake groups with BCLSS. She loves and has worked on small lakes in the BC Interior for most of her career. The BC Lake Stewardship Society became a natural fit for her as she became the liaison between the Ministry, BCLSS and the lake groups in the Thompson Nicola around 2005 and was able to bring her background knowledge on various lakes to the general public and assist them with their questions and data collection. Through this she found that she really enjoyed working with the public. In 2010 she joined the BCLSS Board of Directors and in 2015 moved back to her hometown of Armstrong. After retiring she was able to work under contract with the BC Lake Engagement Initiative and reconnect with lakes and stewardship groups around the Province.


Hamish Kassa

(Columbia-Shuswap)

Hamish is the Environmental Services Coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).  He currently manages the Eurasian Water Milfoil Control Program, the region’s mosquito control programs,  the Noxious Weed Control Program, groundwater monitoring functions, and inspections and maintenance of CSRD dikes. He is the current Chair of  the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, Chair of the Canadian Columbia Basin Invasive Species Steering Committee, Technical Representative for the Shuswap Watershed Council, as well as past Director of the Western Aquatic Plant Management Society and Canadian Association of Nordic Skiers BC.  Hamish has previous career experience with the Okanagan Basin Water Board, Ministry of Environment, Taranaki Catchment Commission, and the North Okanagan Regional District in a variety of positions related to water quality, protection, management, and invasive species. He also has extensive underwater experience logging more than 4000 hours on SCUBA as well as receiving underwater photography awards while working  in New Zealand.  During the winter Hamish can be found sliding on fluffy powder snow with friends and family.


Bruce Kosugi

(Peace)

Bruce loves the North, having lived in the BC Peace area for over 20 years. Originally from a big city in the east, he finds environmental awareness and concern is just as strong with northerners. Perhaps it is due to being truly blessed with clean air and water along with having nature at our back door.
Bruce’s interest in nature and science began as a youngster exploring ponds and streams. This influenced his choice of later obtaining a degree in chemistry. His career in the oil and gas industry helped him understand the vital responsibility for environmental stewardship in resource development.
Bruce is a long time board member of the Charlie Lake Conservation Society. The Society has been actively involved in stewardship activities including water quality monitoring, shoreline restorations, clean ups, public and stakeholder workshops as part of its watershed stewardship strategic plan.
He is also a past director and active volunteer with the Northern Environmental Action Team. NEAT promotes greater awareness and understanding for sustaining our environment and strengthening our communities in Peace area.
In his spare time you might find Bruce taking part in a variety of community events, paddling on Charlie Lake, hiking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing in this amazing place in British Columbia.


Chris Swan

(Cariboo)


Rick Nordin

(Vancouver Island)

Rick was born and grew up in Northwestern Ontario with summers spent at the family cottage on Lake of the Woods. During three summers during university he worked as a fishing guide on Lake of the Woods. His academic training is a B.Sc in Biology (1970), a M.Sc (1971) in fisheries / limnology both from the University of North Dakota and a PhD from the University of British Columbia (phycology / limnology) in 1974. Rick worked for the BC Ministry of Environment from 1974 to 2002 as the provincial specialist in limnology and water quality – job title for most of this period was Provincial Limnologist. He was involved with projects in all areas of BC with particular emphasis on eutrophication and drinking water protection. He taught part time  at the University of Victoria from 1989 to 2016 and had an appointment as an adjunct professor in the biology department and taught a number of courses, carried out research programs, and supervised graduate students. From 2002 to 2008, he worked as senior research scientist in the Environmental Management of Drinking Water Program at UVic. He has been a board member of BCLSS since it was formed (1997) and has also served on the board of directors for the North American Lake Management Society.


Norm Zirnhelt

(Cariboo)

Norm Zirnhelt is a Registered Professional Biologist with over 35 years experience in water and air quality. Norm was head of the BC Ministry of Environment’s Air/Water Quality Monitoring and Impact Assessment Section for the Cariboo Region from 1989-2010.

Norm has been Principal Consultant at his consulting firm, Cariboo Environmental Quality Consulting Ltd. (CEQC) since 2010. CEQC has completed projects on lakeshore protection in sensitive areas, aquatic benthic biology, fish tissue & water chemistry assessment in the mining sector, analysis of aquatic benthic data from a range of sites for the Ministry of Environment, and has developed & conducted training courses for impact assessment biologists for the MOE, as well as Ducks Unlimited staff. Norm currently instructs a course for Vancouver Island University on Water Quality Monitoring and Design.

Norm started working with volunteer lake stewards in 1982 on Dragon Lake and while at MOE oversaw a Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program of over 25 lakes in the Cariboo. Norm’s dedication to volunteer stewardship is evident by his work with the BCLSS – over 10 years as President. Since 2011 Norm has conducted LakeKeepers training for lake stewardship groups in the interior of BC. Norm is currently on leave from BCLSS board duties in order to fill an Executive Director/Technical position with the BCLSS.

Norm and his partner, Candace, live on Opheim Lake in the Cariboo where they enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and sharing their love of nature with family, friends and guests.


Eric Bonham

(Vancouver Island)


Deb Epps

(Vancouver Island)

Deb is an Impact Assessment Biologist, with her MSc in Biology. She has worked with the Ministry of Environment for the last 25 years. She is currently the Section Head, Provincial Water Quality, for the Monitoring, Assessment and Stewardship team. She has spent many years lake monitoring, conducting watershed assessments, and working with numerous lake stewardship groups across the province. She was instrumental in developing the most recent Provincial Lakes Monitoring Network. Deb finds the lakes volunteer groups and their assistance with collecting lake data invaluable. She currently resides in Nanaimo and has been a BCLSS Director since 2003.


Darryl Arsenault

(Okanagan)

Darryl grew up in Salmon Arm, BC, spending summers on Shuswap Lake when not working on the farm. He received a diploma in aquaculture and fisheries technology in Nanaimo and then went on complete a BSc in biology, moving from Nanaimo, to Victoria, then to Saskatoon. He started working in the environmental consulting industry in northern Saskatchewan and went back to school to complete an MSc in fisheries ecology. His primary expertise is in fish habitat protection planning, an important part of permitting for most developments located in and about water. Fish habitat protection planning is based on a solid understanding of aquatic and riparian habitat values and the ability to educate developers about those values. In this day and age, many development sites are on land that has been previously altered. This often presents an opportunity to restore and enhance altered habitats such that developments end up producing a net gain in fish habitat and fish production.


Emily Gutenberg

(Lower Mainland)

Emily is a young, aspiring environmental professional in Metro Vancouver. After she obtained her B.A. in Communications from SFU, she worked as the Communications Coordinator at the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS) in Maple Ridge, B.C. Although she has since decided to return to school full-time, she currently sits on the board of directors at ARMS where she is both a member of the Personnel Committee (creating staff and Human Resources policies) and the chair of the Membership Committee (developing membership and marketing strategies).

Emily is currently completing a diploma in Environmental Protection Technology at Kwantlen University while also working on a diploma in ecological restoration at the University of Victoria by distance education in her spare time. Emily is passionate about community empowerment through environmental education, and is especially interested in the wildland-urban interface.


Kirsten McNeill

(Omineca)

Kirsten was raised in Burns Lake in the Skeena region of BC and grew up camping, boating, fishing and orienteering. From a young age she knew she wanted to work in the outdoors, and water was her calling! She graduated from Okanagan University College (now UBCO) with a B.Sc. in Freshwater Science in 2005, and became an R.P.Bio in 2014. Kirsten started working with MOE in 2005 as a co-op student through the BCCC (BC Conservation Corps), then as an auxiliary in 2006, and finally as a full time employee in 2008. She has worked with MOE in the Cariboo, Thompson and Omineca-Peace regions, and currently works out of the Prince George office as a Sr. Water Quality Technician coordinating the Volunteer Lake Monitoring program for the Province. She spends her off time with her husband, daughter and dog going camping and doing road trips! In her all too rare “me time” she is an arrant crafter and bibliophile!

Our Staff

Employees are the backbone of any organization and at BCLSS it is no different! Our staff work tirelessly to keep us organized, provide information to the public and lend invaluable support to all BCLSS projects.  If you would like to become a member or have general questions regarding BCLSS objectives or programs, please contact our staff at info@bclss.org.


Dawn Roumieu